Is living vegetarian enough? - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 06-16-2008, 12:52 PM
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A lot of my friends have become interested in veganism ever since I've shown them videos, but when I explain it to them they, like I imagine most people, are turned off because of how "complicated", "inconvenient", and "annoying" veganism seems. By talking to some friends and family members I have given them information that made them choose to livevegetarian including cutting out dairy and eggs so most are not lacto/ovo.



I haev two questions. Do you agree that introducing vegetarian first before vegan is a better idea?



Is vegetarian (non lacto/ovo) good enough?



I think it is true that you can never do enough to reduce the suffering of animals, so living vegan is an ideal for all true animal lovers abnd activists. Through the videos I am making, I hope people will see that and make the decisions themesleves, so...



I've decided I will probably change the message of my videos from "Live vegan" to "Live vegetarian", but I would like your opinion. This is video three:



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nt39xISnftE



...where I elaborate on veg health, how not eating meat will help the poor and starving. I also address common meat eater excuses and give advice on how to start the vegetarian path.



So, if you have the time to watch please do (its only 9 minutes of info), but if not what happens is I am giving reasons to go vegetarian, but in the video I give hints at vegan living by quoting vegan athletes and linking to a FAQ at IVU.org that specifies ingredients derived from animal products? Is this a good approach?



...and I am asked by all, "Did your grandmother really go vegan overnight?" Yes, she did! She is working like me to cut out all animal ingredients.



She went vegetarian after we talked about it, but then I showed her parts of "Meet Your Meat" and that did it....
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#2 Old 06-16-2008, 01:18 PM
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Getting people to convert from omnivore to vegetarian is a major step in the right direction, even if they never go vegan. Every step is better than no step at all.



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#3 Old 06-16-2008, 01:26 PM
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Like Fromper said, every little bit helps. Most people find vegetarianism daunting. So instead of looking at it as an all or nothing approach, realize that many people making small changes can have a big impact. They can start with one meatless dinner a week and then work up from there. It's better than convincing them to go vegan overnight, having them find it too hard and giving up in a week.
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#4 Old 06-16-2008, 01:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ElArte View Post

I haev two questions. Do you agree that introducing vegetarian first before vegan is a better idea?

No.



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Originally Posted by ElAtre View Post

Is vegetarian (non lacto/ovo) good enough?

That depends on whose point of view is more important to you, yours or the animals'. If I thought vegetarianism was better for the animals than veganism, I never would have bothered to go vegan. I'm sure that the animals who are still being enslaved and killed for those who think every little bit of reduction helps don't feel the difference.



Granted, I am vegan for the animals, so that's why I see it this way.

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#5 Old 06-16-2008, 04:39 PM
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I tend to agree with SomebodyElse on this.

Ask yourself if you can stand by your current signature statement

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Every cow and hen used in the dairy and egg industries is killed at the end of their miserable lives which consists being tortured to produce calfs yearly and unreasonable quantities of milk and eggs. Worst of all, their chicks are killed, male calf's sold for veal, and some female calf's killed to get the rennet used to make cheese.

and still promote (lacto-ovo-) vegetarianism not merely as a step towards, but possibly even as an alternative to veganism.

Note: I do not condemn any l/o vegs or vegetarianism. I have been an omni and a l/o veg myself for most of my life and admit my guilt, and really do understand why some people think they could never go/stay vegan probably better than you'd imagine. However – this is the vegan subforum, and you are asking whether to introduce vegetarianism first (not sure what you mean by non-lacto-ovo here).

Personally, I often wished I had been introduced to veganism from an ethical/AR perspective much sooner, instead of getting there on a roundabout way via dietary vegetarianism etc. - but that's just me.

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Originally Posted by ElArte View Post

are turned off because of how "complicated", "inconvenient", and "annoying" veganism seems.

Then focus on showing them that and how veganism can be simple, convenient and agreeable.

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So, if you have the time to watch please do (its only 9 minutes of info), but if not what happens is I am giving reasons to go vegetarian, but in the video I give hints at vegan living by quoting vegan athletes and linking to a FAQ at IVU.org that specifies ingredients derived from animal products? Is this a good approach?

I have only watched parts of your video and ffwed a couple of times, but I think the alternating between “vegetarian” and “vegan” is confusing and inconsistent.

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...and I am asked by all, "Did your grandmother really go vegan overnight?" Yes, she did! She is working like me to cut out all animal ingredients.

She went vegetarian after we talked about it, but then I showed her parts of "Meet Your Meat" and that did it....

Any chance of including that story or a personal statement by her in your video?
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#6 Old 06-16-2008, 09:17 PM
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I tend to agree with SomebodyElse on this.

Ask yourself if you can stand by your current signature statement



and still promote (lacto-ovo-) vegetarianism not merely as a step towards, but possibly even as an alternative to veganism.

Note: I do not condemn any l/o vegs or vegetarianism. I have been an omni and a l/o veg myself for most of my life and admit my guilt, and really do understand why some people think they could never go/stay vegan probably better than you'd imagine. However this is the vegan subforum, and you are asking whether to introduce vegetarianism first (not sure what you mean by non-lacto-ovo here).



My apologies for causing confusion to you and anyone else, perhaps including "SomebodyElse". What I meant by "non lacto/ovo" is vegetarianism without consuming dairy or eggs. The message in m signature is also in the videos, specifically video two where I make statements about the cruelty of the dairy and egg industries.



So, I am not advocating going anything less than vegetarian in my video, and the only time I include the word vegan is when wuoting vegan atheltes. (Sorry, I re-watched my video and see I left it one time at the end). I don't want to cause any confusion.



Quote:





Then focus on showing them that and how veganism can be simple, convenient and agreeable.

I've tried, but most people I know don't like cooking and they want things fast, hence the fast food deits many have.



Quote:

Any chance of including that story or a personal statement by her in your video?

Well, I have a webcam, but she doesn't want to appear in the video. I included a statement in the video near the end that says what my grandma did, but it is not very helpful, I think, so I will probably delete. Did you skip through the video because it was boring, too long? I made the "slides" long so my grandma and grandpa and other slow readers have time to take it all in. Were they too long for you?



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Originally Posted by SomebodyElse View Post

No.





That depends on whose point of view is more important to you, yours or the animals'. If I thought vegetarianism was better for the animals than veganism, I never would have bothered to go vegan. I'm sure that the animals who are still being enslaved and killed for those who think every little bit of reduction helps don't feel the difference.



Granted, I am vegan for the animals, so that's why I see it this way.

I'm not sure what you mean by your words I bolded. Do you mean "they" as a collective or individual? Why would "they" not feel the difference?



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Originally Posted by fyvel View Post

Like Fromper said, every little bit helps. Most people find vegetarianism daunting. So instead of looking at it as an all or nothing approach, realize that many people making small changes can have a big impact. They can start with one meatless dinner a week and then work up from there. It's better than convincing them to go vegan overnight, having them find it too hard and giving up in a week.



Right now I agree with you and Fromper. Most people I know will look at "Meet Your Meat" or my video and just stare with eyes glazed over. They don't care; they are apathetic, bored, sometimes both. I think the more reasons we cna give them other than animal suffering is important and its better to start with vegetarian message that is more simple instead of the vegan life.
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#7 Old 06-16-2008, 09:23 PM
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i agree that while every bit helps, better isnt good enough in the eyes of the animals. I do think that helping your friends to question their impact is great. Nobody, no vegan, is perfect, so showing them that may let them see veganism as less daunting. For some people,a slower transitionis easier and more practical...but i do think the ultimate goal is veganism.
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#8 Old 06-16-2008, 10:35 PM
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i agree that while every bit helps, better isnt good enough in the eyes of the animals. I do think that helping your friends to question their impact is great. Nobody, no vegan, is perfect, so showing them that may let them see veganism as less daunting. For some people,a slower transitionis easier and more practical...but i do think the ultimate goal is veganism.





I definitely agree with this. It was a slow process for me.. (20 years O/L veg and now vegan), but totally worth it. I really couldn't live with myself any other way now.
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#9 Old 06-16-2008, 11:22 PM
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Originally Posted by LucidAnne View Post

i agree that while every bit helps, better isnt good enough in the eyes of the animals. I do think that helping your friends to question their impact is great. Nobody, no vegan, is perfect, so showing them that may let them see veganism as less daunting. For some people,a slower transitionis easier and more practical...but i do think the ultimate goal is veganism.



Agree. Completely.



Nice post, LucidAnne.
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#10 Old 06-16-2008, 11:28 PM
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My apologies for causing confusion to you and anyone else, perhaps including "SomebodyElse". What I meant by "non lacto/ovo" is vegetarianism without consuming dairy or eggs.

No, I am not confused, but to me, veganism goes further than diet.





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Originally Posted by ElArte View Post

I'm not sure what you mean by your words I bolded. Do you mean "they" as a collective or individual? Why would "they" not feel the difference?

I was simply addressing the idea that gradual transition is good enough, because it involves a supposedly helpful reduction in animal exploitation. If people are going veg to help animals, and taking their time to do it slowly, the animals still being exploited don't feel this reduction because they are still being exploited 100% of the time.



In general, I think people need to quite focusing on the idea that, for example, since someone told them they can't call themselves vegan if they aren't avoiding things like stearic acid, they might as well just give up and be vegetarian. We need to think about what the real goal is, which is to reduce our deliberate consumption of animal sourced stuff as much as possible. Phrasing it in this way doesn't sound complicated or inconvenient to me, but then I am used to it by now, so maybe I have lost my perspective.

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#11 Old 06-17-2008, 01:00 AM
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What I meant by "non lacto/ovo" is vegetarianism without consuming dairy or eggs.

So you mean strictly vegetarian (or what some, incl. myself before I knew better, would call "dietary vegan). Note though that many people might understand going vegetarian as replacing steak with cheese pizza, because the more common definition or connotation of vegetarian still is that of lacto/ovo vegetarian (not to mention the "semi-" and "pesca-/pollo-" variants). Like SomebodyElse said veganism on the other hand is more than a diet.

Agreeing with LucidAnne that every bit helps and no vegan is perfect, I would still choose to consistently say go vegan in a video like yours, instead of circling around promoting a (even strictly) vegetarian diet, because if the ultimate goal is veganism, it should be mentioned as such from the beginning.

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Did you skip through the video because it was boring, too long? I made the "slides" long so my grandma and grandpa and other slow readers have time to take it all in. Were they too long for you?

Too long for me (at the time I saw your thread), yes seeing a time over 3 min under the screen alone can keep me from watching a youtube video. But thats just me and doesnt serve as a general rule.

If the addressees are mainly people you know well like real life family and friends I think its fine if the videos are a little longer, as these people are more inclined to take the time and watch and listen than total strangers, and it certainly is thoughtful of you to adjust the slides to your readers needs.

Its always a good idea (very hard I know, but worth trying) though to make the message short and memorable (and to leave out a few details for the sake of getting across the main points first).
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#12 Old 06-17-2008, 02:35 AM
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For me personally, I don't think that Vegetarianism is enough. But if people feel that veganism is too difficult than vegetarianism is better than nothing.



A lot of people, like my family, are very into their meat- so refuse to even become vegetarian- so I try to encourage 'Vegan days'- where the family has at least one vegetarian or vegan day a week. I'll cook at least once a week for them, so that there are days where we don't have meat or animal products (at least at dinner). Although this is not ideal, it is still better than nothing. My family have started using vegan margarine on a regular basis though and buying vegan dressings for our salads!



So maybe you could get your friends to be vegetarian with 'Vegan days'?

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#13 Old 06-17-2008, 08:03 PM
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Originally Posted by LucidAnne View Post

i agree that while every bit helps, better isnt good enough in the eyes of the animals. I do think that helping your friends to question their impact is great. Nobody, no vegan, is perfect, so showing them that may let them see veganism as less daunting. For some people,a slower transitionis easier and more practical...but i do think the ultimate goal is veganism.



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Originally Posted by Wednesday_12 View Post

For me personally, I don't think that Vegetarianism is enough. But if people feel that veganism is too difficult than vegetarianism is better than nothing.



I also agree that veganism is the ultimate goal. I think that the way to approach it is to say that the idea is to have as little of a negative impact on animals as possible in your day to day life, and that nobody is perfect but we all do what we can. Implying that nothing less than vegan is worth doing is self defeating, IMO. People may be willing to reduce their meat intake, but not go vegetarian - but after they reduce their intake they may eventually go vegetarian and then vegan when they realize it's not all that bad.



I don't think very many vegans went from omni to vegan overnight. Yes, these people exist, but they're few and far between. Most of us took a gradual route. My job involves helping people make dietary/lifestyle changes, and most people have the most success with making small gradual changes over time than making changes overnight (though some people thrive on the latter, they are the exception rather than the rule)
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#14 Old 06-18-2008, 12:01 AM
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Personally, I often wished I had been introduced to veganism from an ethical/AR perspective much sooner, instead of getting there on a roundabout way via dietary vegetarianism etc. - but that's just me.



I completely understand what you're saying. I am happy I found VB early on in my conversion as I went from full omni to 99% vegan in about three weeks and have been that way for a few months with no leanings toward ever going back and with a definite goal of making it 100% at some point (well as 100% as is possible). Personally, I view that any discomfort I go through is nothing compared to what the animals endure.



Point being, I think it is really important to inform people of everything and then hopefully something will sink in and their diet will change for the better. Something is better than nothing and something is a step on the way to everything.



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Any chance of including that story or a personal statement by her in your video?



ElArte, as somebody who works in the journalism/PR field, I would highly recommend doing some kind of personal story/statement about your grandmother. That is more apt to sit with somebody and also give them a specific example on somebody actually doing what you hope they will do. If you have the ability, an interview would be especially impactful, asking her why she made the move and what it has meant to her. But if you need to stay with the slide theme, maybe have a few talking about her reasonings and what making the change has meant to her.



Also, on a more minor note, the slides where the top half shows and then the bottom half, you need to have more time in between - either that or just show the whole screen at once. Personally, I do not care for the solely-slide approach. Maybe have the same text, but pictures behind. Something to make it easier on the eye (or harder, depending on what your pictures are of).



Hope that helps.
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#15 Old 06-18-2008, 12:29 AM
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No, I am not confused, but to me, veganism goes further than diet.







I was simply addressing the idea that gradual transition is good enough, because it involves a supposedly helpful reduction in animal exploitation. If people are going veg to help animals, and taking their time to do it slowly, the animals still being exploited don't feel this reduction because they are still being exploited 100% of the time.

But it does help to an extent. In video 3, I quote an article from the USDA that says in 1996, the average person ate 191 lbs of meat. Isn't it evident that even a small reduction in meat consumption makes a difference to animals?

Quote:

In general, I think people need to quite focusing on the idea that, for example, since someone told them they can't call themselves vegan if they aren't avoiding things like stearic acid, they might as well just give up and be vegetarian. We need to think about what the real goal is, which is to reduce our deliberate consumption of animal sourced stuff as much as possible. Phrasing it in this way doesn't sound complicated or inconvenient to me, but then I am used to it by now, so maybe I have lost my perspective.

I agree with you and I will define vegan that way as. You said it well.

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I also agree that veganism is the ultimate goal. I think that the way to approach it is to say that the idea is to have as little of a negative impact on animals as possible in your day to day life, and that nobody is perfect but we all do what we can.

You say it very well, too...thanks for sharing.



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So you mean strictly vegetarian (or what some, incl. myself before I knew better, would call "dietary vegan). Note though that many people might understand going vegetarian as replacing steak with cheese pizza, because the more common definition or connotation of vegetarian still is that of lacto/ovo vegetarian (not to mention the "semi-" and "pesca-/pollo-" variants). Like SomebodyElse said veganism on the other hand is more than a diet.

Agreeing with LucidAnne that every bit helps and no vegan is perfect, I would still choose to consistently say go vegan in a video like yours, instead of circling around promoting a (even strictly) vegetarian diet, because if the ultimate goal is veganism, it should be mentioned as such from the beginning.

Yeah a lot of people do think of it that way and I suppose by saying "Go vegetarian" and "don't consume milk and dairy" I am trying to give people a different look at vegetarianism, but I agree it is more consistent and important to stick with the vegan message and make it "less daunting" as LucidAnne said.



Making these videos with friends was fun at first, but now when I have time I just read over and over at what I wrote and trying to fidn out what is necessary and unnecessary. It is vey rhard, but I'm not giving up. Talking to a friend who likes movies he said editing usually takes the longest when they are making and told me not to give up.





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Originally Posted by Wednesday_12 View Post


So maybe you could get your friends to be vegetarian with 'Vegan days'?

Oneof my friends said, "I respect what you do" and he shows it by not eating meat around me, so I think that will work for him, but most of my friends just say...I eat what I want to eat, it's my right...or something like that.
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#16 Old 06-18-2008, 12:35 AM
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ElArte, as somebody who works in the journalism/PR field, I would highly recommend doing some kind of personal story/statement about your grandmother. That is more apt to sit with somebody and also give them a specific example on somebody actually doing what you hope they will do. If you have the ability, an interview would be especially impactful, asking her why she made the move and what it has meant to her. But if you need to stay with the slide theme, maybe have a few talking about her reasonings and what making the change has meant to her.

You are so right about that. My grandma does not speak the best English and is a bit shy of the camera, but she has become very passionate about veganism, so I will talk to her on the weekend when I se eher. I am graeftul that she has given me lots of hope and she is already an outstanding role model for the entire family.

Quote:

Also, on a more minor note, the slides where the top half shows and then the bottom half, you need to have more time in between - either that or just show the whole screen at once. Personally, I do not care for the solely-slide approach. Maybe have the same text, but pictures behind. Something to make it easier on the eye (or harder, depending on what your pictures are of).



Hope that helps.

I've been trying to "fix it" with pictures, but there's only so much I can do with Windows Movie Maker, but your ideas really does help. I will see if I can get all the words to appear at once. Thanks for the help.
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#17 Old 06-18-2008, 12:59 AM
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Personally I think any step is a good one. If your video would be able to convert far more people into vegetarianism than into veganism it might be a good start.

You could even have more than one video and alternate the focus and which you show depending on the target audience.



I think what you're doing is great though, the more aware people are of the suffering, the better!
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#18 Old 06-18-2008, 07:17 AM
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I also think any step is a good one, as it is the first step. Veganism is a journey rather than a destination in my view. To see it as a destination would have been very scary and off putting to me as an omnivore becoming vegetarian. I thought that veganism was hard, but vegetarianism was something achievable that I could do, that could make a difference.



After time as a vegetarian I realised that veganism was the next step for me, and I actually found it quite easy - certainly not the scary prospect it once was! I was vegetarian for a year before I went vegan, for some people they move on a lot quicker, others take more time. But we are all on the same journey and that is what is important
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#19 Old 06-18-2008, 07:23 AM
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I think a good beginning is to introduce th idea of trying to cut down on the suffering we cause to animals, our planet and our own health, by the mindset that if a dead animal isn't in there, it isn't done yet. A mind that is open will automatically begin to question things on their own, and come to realizations. If I'd been presented with the long list of everything with a dead animal in it when I first thought to stop eating meat a few times a week (basically, animals are in everything), I'd just gave up and knew it was hopeless. But, little by little, I find products that take the place of this or that, and I find my way, without someone else strong-arming me. If were to have listened to a certain group of vegans when I first started on path, they would have stripped everything from my hands and life and left me standing there with naked and hungry. Most people can't funtion like that. It takes time to LEARN what the replacement things are. It also felt very useless when someone gave me a recipe and indicated it should use sustainable mayonaise,which I asked what t meant, thinking the mayonaise would fly apart and not take heat well. Her answer was too big and left me not knowing what she meant without searching. I thought, I can't trace every product across the globe
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#20 Old 06-18-2008, 02:02 PM
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But it does help to an extent. In video 3, I quote an article from the USDA that says in 1996, the average person ate 191 lbs of meat. Isn't it evident that even a small reduction in meat consumption makes a difference to animals?

No. While humans indulge in the luxury of taking their time to make their transition easy and comfortable for themselves, animals are still suffering. If you are dealing with people who care about animals, why give them the impression that its ok for the animals if they take their time? What real difference does it make to the animals you are still eating, even if you are only eating one tenth as many as you did a year ago? That is like saying I am benefiting all the people I don't murder by reducing the number of people I do murder.



I'm not trying to ignore how difficult it can be for people to change. But even if their were only one cow left in the world who was still suffering in order to produce milk for the last few people who refuse to stop drinking it, that cow is still suffering 100% of the time.



I just don't think of animals as numbers and percentages. They are individuals who suffer from abuse, and this suffering isn't to be measured by how few are experiencing it.



I am also very dubious about the tendency of most humans to look for any reason not to do as much as they possibly can. A bunch of vegetarians saying "every little bit helps" is just giving people permission to feel good about what they are not willing to give up, rather than conveying the sense of urgency that what we are doing is still not enough.

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#21 Old 06-18-2008, 02:05 PM
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#22 Old 06-18-2008, 02:08 PM
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No. While humans indulge in the luxury of taking their time to make their transition easy and comfortable for themselves, animals are still suffering. If you are dealing with people who care about animals, why give them the impression that its ok for the animals if they take their time? What real difference does it make to the animals you are still eating, even if you are only eating one tenth as many as you did a year ago? That is like saying I am benefiting all the people I don't murder by reducing the number of people I do murder.



I'm not trying to ignore how difficult it can be for people to change. But even if their were only one cow left in the world who was still suffering in order to produce milk for the last few people who refuse to stop drinking it, that cow is still suffering 100% of the time.



I just don't think of animals as numbers and percentages. They are individuals who suffer from abuse, and this suffering isn't to be measured by how few are experiencing it.



I am also very dubious about the tendency of most humans to look for any reason not to do as much as they possibly can. A bunch of vegetarians saying "every little bit helps" is just giving people permission to feel good about what they are not willing to give up, rather than conveying the sense of urgency that what we are doing is still not enough.



I agree 100%.



Of course, reality dictates we have to be outwardly patient with people who are moving towards a vegan lifestyle so that they are successful getting there, but that doesn't mean that "anything goes" or that each and every action someone might take is equally good or meaningful.
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#23 Old 06-18-2008, 02:18 PM
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No. While humans indulge in the luxury of taking their time to make their transition easy and comfortable for themselves, animals are still suffering. If you are dealing with people who care about animals, why give them the impression that its ok for the animals if they take their time? What real difference does it make to the animals you are still eating, even if you are only eating one tenth as many as you did a year ago? That is like saying I am benefiting all the people I don't murder by reducing the number of people I do murder.



I'm not trying to ignore how difficult it can be for people to change. But even if their were only one cow left in the world who was still suffering in order to produce milk for the last few people who refuse to stop drinking it, that cow is still suffering 100% of the time.



I just don't think of animals as numbers and percentages. They are individuals who suffer from abuse, and this suffering isn't to be measured by how few are experiencing it.



I am also very dubious about the tendency of most humans to look for any reason not to do as much as they possibly can. A bunch of vegetarians saying "every little bit helps" is just giving people permission to feel good about what they are not willing to give up, rather than conveying the sense of urgency that what we are doing is still not enough.



I have people in my family who might be willing to make a small reduction in their consumption of meat or dairy, but they would never give it up by choice. In certain instances, I think it's fine to say "every little bit helps," because eventually, those small reductions would lead to a lesser demand of animal products... It might not be as beneficial as veganism, but it's still a start.
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#24 Old 06-18-2008, 05:46 PM
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Of course, reality dictates we have to be outwardly patient with people who are moving towards a vegan lifestyle so that they are successful getting there, but that doesn't mean that "anything goes" or that each and every action someone might take is equally good or meaningful.

I agree with you as well. There seems to be a fine line between making incremental changes without losing sight of the ultimate goal, and settling for stopping before you get there because what you are doing is better than nothing. Trying to encourage people to do more, without discouraging them by implying that what they are presently doing is not enough, is like walking a tightrope!

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#25 Old 06-19-2008, 08:51 AM
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Promoting vegetarianism is not a good idea. It does not question at all the idea that animals should not be used as commodities and as resources. All it does is to promote the idea that animal flesh should not be eaten. But how do you get then across to the person that the dairy products/eggs, etc. are also completely mixed up in the death-scene?



Promoting what is called Incremental Veganism is far better when it comes to nudging people towards veganism. Tell them to go vegan one day a week, then two days, then three days and so on. Or encourage them for one week to eat all the lunches vegan-style, then the next week, all their breakfasts and lunches. Then the following week all their meals.
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#26 Old 06-19-2008, 12:02 PM
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Promoting vegetarianism is not a good idea. It does not question at all the idea that animals should not be used as commodities and as resources. All it does is to promote the idea that animal flesh should not be eaten. But how do you get then across to the person that the dairy products/eggs, etc. are also completely mixed up in the death-scene?



Promoting what is called Incremental Veganism is far better when it comes to nudging people towards veganism. Tell them to go vegan one day a week, then two days, then three days and so on. Or encourage them for one week to eat all the lunches vegan-style, then the next week, all their breakfasts and lunches. Then the following week all their meals.



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#27 Old 06-19-2008, 12:36 PM
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I haev two questions. Do you agree that introducing vegetarian first before vegan is a better idea?



Yes. Veganism is not just a change in diet, it's a big change in lifestyle from meat eating, and there's a lot to learn. Many people drop out because they find the change too overwhelming.



In general, people are more likely to stick with veganism if they do a slow adjustment rather than make a sudden jump.



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Is vegetarian (non lacto/ovo) good enough?



It's obviously not as ideal as veganism, but if someone can't cope as a vegan and the alternative is a possible return to meat-eating, it certainly is good enough
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#28 Old 06-19-2008, 01:03 PM
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Okay, I get that the ultimate goal would be for no animals to suffer and for everyone to lead a completely vegan lifestyle, and I agree and respect that. However, unfortunately most of us weren't raised vegans, and therefore have gotten accustomed to a lifestyle that included meat products. I'm a new vegetarian, and am trying hard to go as vegan as I can, at least in the dietary sense to start, but no, it's not happening overnight. Aside from all of the dairy I already had bought before I made the change to vegetarianism, finding a suitable vegan substitute has been a challenge on some things for me as well. I finally tried a soy yogurt I liked today, which now I will need to fit into my caloric intake for the day, as it is double the mount of calories compared to my dairy yogurt, with half the protein as well. So no cows are suffering by me eating the soy yogurt, but my nutritional intake has gotten worse--a choice I am trying to stick by for good, but it is not so easy for everyone.



I think every little bit helps, as some people have said, and I'm disappointed to see that some people have an all or nothing approach. I know, once you choose the lifestyle, nothing else seems to make sense, but some people do need the transition time. I am trying to avoid dairy and eggs as much as possible, and do feel guilty if I eat it, but I can't commit to never eating it again right now either. Some of your posts almost make it sound like I may as well just go eat steak every day then since I haven't commited to going totally vegan. And no, I don't take it as a personal attack, and I'm not trying to create drama. It's just that I really think that every little bit helps, and we should be happy to encourage people who are trying to either cut back, cut out, meat/dairy/eggs in hopes that we'll save even just a few animals that year.
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#29 Old 06-19-2008, 01:26 PM
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I don't see it as an all or nothing approach in terms of people needing to do all or nothing right this moment or it's worth nothing.



What IS all or nothing to me is the concept that animals are not ours to use and abuse, they are sentient beings who have their own interests and who should not be commodified, and that ultimately that should be the guiding concept for our actions. It's understandable that not everyone can live a perfectly vegan life at first, if ever. It took me a couple years to transition myself. I used to consume a diet very heavy in animal products, and I was raised on a farm in the country, so I certainly understand that it can be difficult to change one's actions... and our outlook.



Promoting the consumption of dairy and eggs vis a vis vegetarianism says that it's ok to use and abuse animals under some situations. I personally cannot endorse that.
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#30 Old 06-19-2008, 06:48 PM
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I would like to address some of the points you raised, FitChick99, in a general way, however, since there are tons of people who think the same way. So what I am writing is not a personal criticism of you; its just my take on the ideas you expressed here, that are shared by many.

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However, unfortunately most of us weren't raised vegans, and therefore have gotten accustomed to a lifestyle that included meat products.

Actually almost none of us were raised vegan. We have pretty much all grown up in the same culture, in very much the same way. There is no hardcore AR vegan here who hasn't gone through what everyone else goes through on the way to veganism. I personally would not dare expect anyone to experience what I have not experienced myself, in arriving at the point I am at today. There is nothing special about me; there is no quality I possess that makes it any easier for me than it is for anyone else, and I didn't start out with any secret magic formula that works for me, but no one else.



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I think every little bit helps, as some people have said, and I'm disappointed to see that some people have an all or nothing approach.

I agree with what meatless said. My only motivation for advocating veganism is animal freedom. Animal freedom is an all or nothing concept, so I can't help but be less than enthusiastic about people who aren't willing to do everything they can, if they claim to be doing what they are doing because they care about animals.



I do tend to take any situation and think it all the way through to its logical conclusion, and that's how I made myself go vegan. I saw anything less than veganism as myself not wanting to be pushed outside of what was familiar and comfortable to me, and once I faced reality, and knew I was copping out for selfish reasons, I had to do what I knew was right. No matter how awkward and unfamiliar it is to get pushed out of your comfort zone, it can never compare to, for example, a calf being ripped out his comfort zone by being taken from his mother and pushed down a ramp into the hands of a grinning demon waiting to kill him because there are millions of human beings who feel more entitled to his mother's milk than he is.



And that's one of the issues addressed by veganism, that is ignored by even strict vegetariansim. The notion that we as humans are entitled to see animals as resources, and that therefore we are entitled to take our time in giving up this view, or even in not giving it up at all. That we are entitled to use the bodies of others, and can choose whether we will, or not.



It is not a choice. It is not an entitlement.





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Originally Posted by FitChick99 View Post

Some of your posts almost make it sound like I may as well just go eat steak every day then since I haven't commited to going totally vegan.

Well, this is just irrational. If you are doing what you are doing for the sake of animals, the opinions of vegans should have no bearing on it. Using the argument that other people don't think you are making any difference to justify what you want to do is just another cop out.



But I am not writing this because I want to condemn people for not doing as much as I think I am doing. That's not the point at all. I know when I am doing everything I can. All I want is for other people to really be honest with themselves about whether they are really doing all they can, or making excuses for why they won't go as far as they know they can. I can't know how far anyone else is able to go, and I don't want to. I just want people to be realistic about exactly what they are doing, or not doing, and maybe to look outside of their own comfort zones, and think about what its like for the animals for a change.



If a person claims to care about animals at all, anything less than veganism just doesn't make any sense.

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